Eight to 10 servings

3½ pounds sweet potatoes (see note*)

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

6 tablespoons whipping cream or half-and-half

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Scant ½ teaspoon ground allspice

Scant ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Scant ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups large marshmallows, each cut into quarters

1. Place a sheet of heavy-duty foil on center oven rack and preheat to 425 degrees. Pierce each sweet potato in several places and place in oven. Bake about 1 hour, or until very tender when tested in the centers. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

2. When cool enough to handle, open the potatoes and scrape the flesh into a large bowl. Add 6 tablespoons butter, cream, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, salt, pepper, brown sugar and lemon juice. Mash with a potato masher until semi-smooth. (The dish can be made 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator one hour before baking.)

3. Spray a 2½-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Pile the mashed sweet potatoes into the dish. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven about 20 minutes. Top with marshmallows and continue baking 25 minutes, or until golden on top.

* Note: Try to use the red-fleshed Jewel or Garnet variety of sweet potato. The Garnet is often labeled as a yam in supermarkets.

Adapted by The Seattle Times in 2003 from “One Potato Two Potato” by Roy Finamore and Molly Stevens